Category Archives: I have Family

A Birthday, Mine.

This past weekend, on the 1st, we celebrated my 43rd birthday.   Tony, bless him, gave me the greatest gift any man can give a woman who is the mother of a toddler… the gift of a nap.  The gift of a nap when said toddler failed at taking his, by taking the toddler away and on a drive that then turned into a car nap for the toddler.

Not to be outdone by that gift, he also took me to our mountain cabin for a couple days.  Where we did our usual tour of our favorite breakfast place where I was serenaded with the Happy Birthday song by a fellow there singing, a surprise was that, I’ve never seen anyone there singing before, so that was a perk.

We also visited the candy store in town, where I bought my favorite candy there…  a dark chocolate caramel apple, a dark chocolate covered pretzel stick and a dark chocolate peanut butter cup.  Tony then bought us ice cream.  Never mind that there was smatterings of snow and ice in town, residuals of the storm that had moved through there earlier in the week.  Ice cream doesn’t need warm weather to taste good.

Then there was the birthday cheesecake and sparkly numbers atop it.  Well, more like birthday cheesecakes, and since it was my birthday, I sampled each and every one of them… and, being in a generous mood, I let Tony sample them, too.  They were delicious, indeed.

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Finally, there was the moment as we drove down the mountain, our time there enjoyed immensely… and we held hands, as we drove we entered what I call our magical forest.  When it snows and the trees are heavy with it, the light sparkles it turning it to frozen diamonds.  It looks like something out of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  It was there several years ago that it was where I realized that the love Tony and I had for each other was too much, and that we needed a child to hold some of the love… and wasn’t that a good idea to start a family with?  Too much love?  And this time, as we drove, our child chattered at us from his seat in the rear seat, happy and content, smiling and singing and yelling, ” Boo!  Mommy and Daddy, boo!!”

P1160426For as much as a child’s birthdays marks the years passing like mile markers on a freeway, so does my birthday mark the passing of time of my happiness in the family we’ve made.  There is no gift in the world that I want, for I have all I could have ever dreamed… and more.

I am so very, very blessed in this, my 43rd year of life.  Happy Birthday to me.

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Filed under Best Husband, Entertainment can be Cheap, I did something Special, I feel Glad, I have Family, Our Kid is Cute

Owning Motherhood.

At last night’s early morning nursing, William was super sleepy and got the initial let down and then backed off his latch and intermittently pacified.  After a few minutes, I switched sides with him, and the same thing… so I unlatched him and his breathing deepened and I lifted him back into his crib.   He laid there for a second and then sat up and said, “Nooo-hoo-hooo!  More Nah-nahs, please?”  So, I lifted him out and he latched again, but didn’t nurse, and instead went back to sleep.

All those times when he was a newborn and the world went silent when he was placed on my chest, all he wanted was just to be near me or on me, that’s what I was reminded of.  So, as tired as I was, I willingly held him close and treasured this blessing that I held in my arms.  This blessing that I used to fervently pray for when I woke in the middle of the night, and every waking moment when my mind rested on the desire for a child.  I devoured the Bible, searching for stories about infertility and the promises God made to those families.  I searched the Internet for answers, countless times.  I became a self-made expert on infertility.

And now here he is.  In my arms.  I still can’t believe it.

I thought about how his arms and legs have magically lengthened from scrawny baby frog legs to chubby baby thighs to sturdy toddler legs.  How is he in his twentieth month of life already?  As I think about that, he pulls his legs up to his tummy, so now it feels like I’m holding a 33 pound newborn in a nursing position.  I smile to myself.  He sighs in contentment.  I stroke his hair, shortened by a recent hair cut.  This comfort that I give him is free to me to give.  The only cost is sleep.  I can sleep in a few years… when his need isn’t urgent.   So, I waited and thought about all these things.  Eventually, I gently unlatched him, and then lifted him back into his crib.

The choices that I make… a willingness to comfort someone over sleep.  I feel like I am owning motherhood.  That makes me happy.

**Note: Please disregard any ad that WordPress displays in my posts.  They want $30/year to discontinue it. Not going to happen.

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Filed under I feel Glad, I have Family, I Pray A lot, Our Kid is Cute

Weekends are the Best.

There really isn’t much more to add to that title, except that it seems that weekends just keep getting sweeter and sweeter as the days go by.  This past weekend, we had been planning to go out of town but I canceled at the last minute just because I was feeling a little overwhelmed by life.  So, we stayed home.  I’m glad we did, because while it would have been fun to get away, but there’s so much preparation and strategy involved.

We stayed close to home, instead, and visited the Irvine Spectrum.  They have a ferris wheel and a train that we’ve been meaning to ride.  We also visited the splash pad, and having our own kid was great, because we didn’t look like a couple of creepsters.

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After a meal at Ruby’s Diner… holding his tummy.

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The next day, I spent some time out in our back yard cleaning up my plants, getting rid of some of the pots that have rotted from sun exposure, rescuing and repotting some plants, trimming back others, pulling weeds (who knew that potted plants get weeds, too).  Sometimes I just have to stand there, turn around a few times, walk to that corner, walk back to the middle, and wait for a vision to come together in my head.  Or as my former boss used to simply say, “I’m thinking.”

After I figured out what I wanted to do, then I let my little helper come out and assist me.  I was worried that he would come out and rip up all the plants, or start digging the dirt out of the pot, but all he wanted to do was swing the fairy, play with the pinwheels and clang the “Cat Crossing” sign on the ground so I would say, “YIKES!” and he would laugh.  Oh, this sweet child of ours.  I am constantly blessed by his sweet, laughing spirit.

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Thank you, God, for this sweet blessing.

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Happy April First.

Two years ago at 7am I had my blood drawn to find out if our 2nd IVF cycle worked or not. It was, ironically, to the minute, one year prior to that that I had miscarried the baby we conceived naturally (link). After the blood draw, I sat in my car and sobbed. I was convinced the cycle had failed because I was bleeding just as I had been one year prior. That cycle was it. It was our last shot at having a baby.

When my doctor called with the results (5 hours and 22 agonizing minutes later), I accused him of pulling an April Fool’s joke. I couldn’t stop shaking and sobbing. I told him to call Tony with the medication instructions because I couldn’t write it down… I was shaking too hard. Turns out, Tony couldn’t hold it together either, so I had to call the doctor back later, twice, when I had sort of calmed down. I couldn’t believe that I was pregnant.

This morning at 7am, I held the results of that pregnancy and nursed his warm, sleepy self in the darkness of his room before work. And I cried.

We are so very, very blessed.

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Sunny Sunshine Shining Green.

Yesterday Tony took William with him to his parent’s house, so I had three hours to myself.  At first I felt bereft.  I miss that kid so much during the week, I like to spend every spare moment that I have with him.  But then I realized, I’ve been meaning to get my hair cut.  Last time I got my hair cut, I had William with me and I wore him in a carrier on my chest. I stand anyway during the process because my hair is so long it makes it easier for my stylist to work with it.  But it was a little challenging, because he was Mister Nosey and wanted to know what she was doing with his mommy’s hair.

So, yep, you guessed it.  The second they left I hustled down to see her and got that taken care of.  Then I had two hours left… and GUESS WHAT!!?? Even though it’s not April, my community’s pool is heated.  Early.  Mid March.  Even better, the weather here is sunny and warm.  So I went had myself a swim in the pool. Outside. In the clean water that is not over-chlorinated.  It was glorious.

Could the day get any better?  Yes.  Yes, it could.

Despite all odds, William took a 2 hour 35 minute nap.  Which is good because he got a measly 30 minute nap on Friday, and he’s molarizing and had a beastly cold this past week.  Poor little guy.  He needs his rest.  Even better, I got an hour or so of a nap myself.

Then, THEN!! Last night was Green Dinner (aka St. Patrick’s Dinner) at Tony’s church.  Such a good time we had.  Even though we didn’t get to see the Irish Dancers (they came on after 9pm), the food was delicious, the bagpipes were entertaining and, you know, family was there.  Oh, and did I mention the food was delicious?  I think I might have.

When we were leaving, one of the men of the church asked me about my hair.  Now this is truly novel as no one ever notices when I get my hair cut.  I told him I’d spent all morning in the salon getting my hair done just for last night.

He looked at me, in all seriousness and said, “I sure hope you saved your receipt.”

A little miffed, I replied, “Yes, I did.  I know, they got it a little short, huh?”

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Filed under I did something Special, I feel Amused, I have Family, Our Kid is Cute

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things to be thankful for this day.  Every day really, but today especially when thankfulness is the topic of the day.

I’m thankful for those of you who still read here.  I’m thankful for those of you who still comment.  If you read here and don’t comment, I really wish you would.  Authors of blogs love comments and I’m no exception!

I’m thankful for my husband who really is one of the most amazing men I’ve ever met. Not a day goes by that there isn’t something new that I appreciate about him.  I really need to be better about telling him.  He does so much around here and does it without fanfare.

I’m thankful for my mom who cares for William during the day.  It is so special that she is able to have a relationship with him and that I can trust that he’s being well-loved and well-tended while we go to work.

Topping my list is the miracle that is our William.  There are moments that I still can’t believe he’s here.  There are also moments that I still can’t believe he’s ours.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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Filed under Best Husband, I have Family, Our Kid is Cute, We Love to Decorate

Letter to our 11.2 month old

Dear William,

This week on 11/15/2012 you turn 49 weeks or 11.2 months old.

Last weekend you had your first air travel and overnight visit.  We flew Southwest Airlines to Nebraska and then drove across the river to my aunt’s house in Iowa.  We stayed there for three nights.  This trip was very special and I was glad you were able to meet both of my dad’s sisters, your Great Aunts.  You are a link to my dad — his only grandchild — who died way too early in his life.  I wish he could have met you, he would have loved you.  I’m pausing here in my writing of this to ponder those last two sentences for a moment, and just what a miracle your life is.

Your Great Aunt Donis’ favorite thing to say to you was, “HEY!! I’m talking to YOU!”  Your Great Aunt Marjorie would tell you that you’re a good baby.  Your Great Uncle Jim would tell you, “You have to keep an eye on me. You just don’t know what I’m going to do next!”  Your response to all of those things after the first day (when you were a bit jetlagged) was to look at them and laugh.

We had a family gathering on Saturday night and you met your second cousin and his daughter and a whole bunch of people that I don’t even know how to list them… but when it came time to say goodbye, you waved and waved and said “bye bye bye bye bye” and laughed and laughed and the goodbyes went on forever because you were laughing and they wanted to make you laugh even more.  I’ve never seen such happy goodbyes!

While we were there, we took you to the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge.  I wanted to take some of your 11 month pictures there… you wanted to speed crawl the entire span of the bridge and seemed to think the dividing line between Nebraska and Iowa was the start/finish line.  Just so you know?  Picture taking and speed crawling are not compatible activities.

Overall, though, your father and I are so very proud of how well you traveled and behaved the entire weekend.  The ultimate compliment came from people on the plane who either were astonished at the end of the flight when you sat up and started laughing and waving bye bye at them.  So many people said, “I didn’t even know he was there.” Or, “What a happy baby he is!”  Actually, you were just yourself — happy and hilarious.  You nursed very well, you slept and napped well, you laughed and played charmingly, all that despite the fact that your sixth tooth is working its way through your gums.  You are just an amazing kid!

Food
We sat you down to dinner one night this week, and you sat there for over an hour, eating and eating.  You love your food.  For dinner that night you had chicken, broccoli, brussel sprouts, onion, tofu (a first time try=love), a baked french fry (no salt), banana and apple.  While we were traveling, you had some beef stew, you tried Mexican rice, a fruit salad (cottage cheese, sugar free jello, pineapple). I noticed this week, with the traveling and such, that you prefer and do eat better when you have your own chair (instead of sitting on our lap) at the table.

Developments
You are weighing in this week at 27 pounds 10 ounces.  Same clothing size (18 month, some 24 month) and diaper strategy as last week.  Things you say, “Cat,” “Pfffff” (hissing), “Say it,” “Pop So” or just “POP” (popsicle).

You are cruising with more and more regularity around the room.  From one thing to the next you go.  You love to open the top drawer of my desk and pull out the bendy ruler, then you move on to my keyboard drawer, and then the cat door.  You use chairs as a walker, pushing them along all over the place.  It’s convenient that most every house has chairs in them!  You point at things you want or want to know what they’re called.  When you want to nurse, you make the milk “sign”… and in the event I miss or ignore that cue, you pull the travel nursing pillow out of the bag if we’re out or if we’re home, the nursing pillow off the chair and sit in the middle of it and stare pointedly at me.  Your favorite book of all time is the Quiet/Loud book.  You also like the food book, and a purple Elmo book and a Wiggles book.  You love to turn the pages of your books when we’re reading them.

Things I want to remember about you this week:  How very sweet it was to hold you on my lap while we flew on the airplane, you asleep after nursing, and the way the dim light from the window in front of us slanted across your face, you twitching in your sleep and with every twitch you curled yourself closer to me.  Not knowing you would do this on the flight out, I dressed us both too warmly.  I didn’t make that mistake on the way back.

How cute your little fluff butt is when it goes crawling across the room.  How you were SO excited when you found “your” toy car in the bedroom at your Great Aunt Marjorie’s house (a duplicate of the car you have at home).  How when we went outside there, and the wind was blowing and rattling the leaves in the big tree behind the house, you sighed and said “Oooohhhhhh….” so amazed.  How when we were at our layover in Las Vegas airport, your first response to the blinking lights on the slot machines was, “Oh wow.”    How at each of our flight’s layovers, you found a wheelchair both times and were so excited — WHEELS!

How excited you were when we got home and the kitties were swarming around us, and you laughed and laughed and crawled and crawled.  You were so happy to be home.  When we set up the blow up turkey outside our home, you hissed at the deflated heap the next morning because you though that heap was the inflatable Halloween cat.  The way you slap your tummy or your knee in rhythm to some song playing in your mind.  The way you push a toy along while you crawl like it’s a soccer ball, I don’t think you’ll ever hold a toy in your mouth.  How funny it was when you discovered an old pacifier from when you were a newborn in my car, you examined it thoroughly, tried it this way and that, and then decided that it must be a teether toy and promptly started chomping on it.  How desperate the look on your face was when I was eating some brussel sprouts and you wanted some, and then when I gave it to you, amused, thinking you’d surely spit it out, you ate it like it was candy.  You surprise me at every turn.

Maybe it’s because I’m an older mom, or maybe it’s because as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate myself for who I am, and let my concerns of what other people think or do slide away from me.  So when people ask me what you do, do you walk or do this or that?  I just smile and tell them not yet.  I know it will happen when YOU are ready to make it happen.  Just like when you decided it was time to be born.  Just like you decided it was time to sleep all night long, and I was the one who needed to nurse you instead of the other way around.  Just like you decide what you want to eat, or not.  Simply put, there is nothing that you do today that I wish you didn’t do and similarly, there is nothing that you don’t do today that I wish you did.  If there’s nothing else that I’ve learned in life, I hope it shows that I’ve learned to cling to and savor each moment as it passes by rather than rushing to the next moment.  I like to let each moment in time stand on its own, like a perfectly formed morning dew drop on a flower petal.  For this second, this moment, you are here, you are this size, this person. You will never, ever be who you are now again.  There’s no going back, only forward.  But maybe I can capture bits of this moment in these letters, I can sure try.

You do you perfectly, because you are perfectly you.

Love, Momma

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Filed under I have Family, Letter to William